Los Alamos Historical Society Online Teacher's Guide

Natural History Ancestral Pueblo Homesteaders Ranch School Manhattan Project

The Homestead Era
Romero Cabin By the time the Spaniards entered New Mexico, the Pajarito Plateau had been abandoned by the Native Americans and came under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Empire. Land grants were awarded to soldiers. Los Alamos townsite is located where the Rito de Los Frijoles and Ramon Vigil grants were. When the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican American war, the United States guaranteed recognition of the Hispanic land grants.

Later, in 1863, the United States established homesteading laws. To homestead one would farm the land in return for 160 acres given to the homesteader by the government. In order to gain the land permanently, the homesteader had to prove up by living on the land for five years, building a house, digging a well, fencing a certain amount, and plowing 10 acres. Several families from the Rio Grande Valley built cabins and homesteaded in the Los Alamos area so they could run their sheep or cattle. They would return to the valley to live through the winter. The Romero cabin is an example of such a cabin. It is located behind the Los Alamos Historical Museum.

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Keeping Los Alamos History Alive

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